#CreateNOW tour stopped in Atlanta on 27 Feb 2013; and, it provided an excellent opportunity for Adobe to reconnect with its User Group community. The Atlanta AUG has had a series of leadership transitions the last couple of years. So, as an Adobe Community Manager, I was eager to see how they were getting along and meet with their new leader, Michelle Johnston. We met a couple of hours before the event to talk about the Adobe User Group program, benefits, ACP speakers, AdobeMAX, and Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Michelle remarked that when she first took over the Atlanta Adobe User Group, it had been dormant for some time. The first “reboot” meetings were really tough, only 3-4 people showed-up. But, after Michelle’s persistent networking at several local user groups and finding a new co-mgr (Daniel Flores), the group has now grown to up over 400 members on their meetup page. Now, Atlanta AUG is very active in social media and recently launched a twitter account (@AUGAtl) and a facebook page to better engage new users. As a community manager, I love this level of initiative; it’s a beautiful thing.
An Opportunity to Grow with the #CreateNOW tour
Michelle Johnston (Atlanta AUG mgr) first heard about the CreateNOW tour via the pre-release emails and facebook postings from the Adobe Community Team. She was then contacted by Adobe to see if there was interest in hosting an event in Atlanta. Atlanta is a major hub for creatives/developers and there was interest from the Adobe Product teams to do an event in the U.S. southeast. So, Michelle rallied the existing members, friends and co-manager to start planning out this event. There was lots to do: search for a suitable venue; engage corporate sponsors (Matrix Resources), engage Adobe for funding; securing food/drinks @Costco; promote the event; etc. The corporate sponsor (Matrix Resources) provided a very nice meeting facility that seats 150 people for free. I had a chance to meet with Leah Antonoff (@LeahShortie), Matrix’s community manager earlier in the day to discuss future visits and ACP speaker training opportunities. It truly pays dividends, when Adobe invests time and resources to develop these corporate contacts with the Adobe User Group mangers, because they are very important in holding events like #CreateNOW tours; venues are tough to come by these days at a reasonable rate; and, Matrix Resource was very gracious in letting the Atlanta host the event in their wonderful training center for free; They do training and they recruit creatives, web developers…so, it makes good business sense to forge these relationships. Involving the local trainers, recruiters, and User Groups, is a kind of “marketing from the street” approach that is both credible and more appealing to end-users than traditional marketing. And the interaction is regional, not from a corporate Facebook page, website, and other social media. The folks from Atlanta appreciated Adobe taking time to meet with them on a personable level.
What Happened at #CreateNOW Atlanta in under a Minute!
( Time-Lapse video) or go here: http://bit.ly/15tOYER
Attendance VERY GOOD — First Event! Something to build upon!
At the event itself, we had about (95) attendees from the initial 159 RSVPs that’s not bad for a typical free event. There was a check-in desk manned by Michelle’s co-manager Daniel Flores who did an outstanding job with the other volunteers: stuffing attendee bags, answering questions, and being the greeters for the event. Very Cool Group of folks!
While at the event, I got to see one of the Adobe Freelancer speakers present, Claudia McCue. Also, I got to see Garth Braithwaite from the Adobe XD team (User interface/product design) present. I’m always interested in how people present and deliver their content. Claudia cover features from the various products in the Creative Cloud and she dispelled some of the myths people are having about the Creative Cloud. More about debunking those Creative Cloud myths here. Garth covered some of the new Adobe Edge Tools that web developers and designers can make use of (i.e. Edge Code, Reflow, Animate, & Web fonts). He told the audience that they can get these 1.0 version tools forever via the “FREEmium-level” creative cloud membership, just by going to http://html.adobe.com and clicking on the “Edge Tools Service” tab…scroll down and click on the yellow “get started” button! Enjoyed both of their talks.!
|Attendee Comments from the event|
|All in All, I hope we will be back soon in Atlanta with more Adobe speakers. For the next visit, I hope to bring in Adobe Community Professional speakers to focus more on work-flow within the Creative Cloud.Atlanta Adobe User Group is “off and running” once again!|
Posts tagged "#CreateNOW"
15 Jan 2013 Seattle Photoshop Meeting with Colin Smith
It all started with an email from a User Group Manager frantically looking for a last minute speaker. As a Community Manager, sometimes I can help, sometimes I cannot. But this time, I was able to go the extra mile in trying to help this User Group….We originally just intended to do just an Adobe Connect Webinar; but then I thought, wouldn’t it be great to bring a live speaker to Seattle? We have never done been able to do this with one of the Creative Suite User Groups on such short notice. And so fortunately, after a few phonecalls, I was able to find an Adobe Community Professional Speaker (ACP): Colin Smith from PhotoshopCAFE.com. Howard Heflin who runs the Seattle Photoshop User Group (SeaPUG) was thrilled! Now, the SeattlePUG originally started in 2008; and, it is one of the larger Photoshop User Groups in the Adobe Group’s Program. Initially, we had over 200 RSVP’d and over 81 on the waiting list for Colin’s visit. We were fortunate to pack the place with over 160 attendees. I usually start off a session by asking a few questions about product usage; 50% were using Photoshop CS5; 50% were using Photoshop CS6; not too many Creative Cloud Users; lots of Lightroom Users, including some newbies who came just for this meeting. All in All, this was a heavy photographer focused User Group.
After the marketing stuff by some Adobe guy, Colin got right into the Lightroom and started his Demo. Colin generally does not cover the demos or content material from his many videos, instead he focuses on new discoveries and questions he’s come across with the products…. Like, I did not know that there was an xml-based file associated with a Lightroom image and the adjustments made to it. This XML file can actually be opened in Dreamweaver. And Colin, did just that, by opening the XML file and changing the lighting/Color adjustments from text in the XML file. Pretty Nifty and something new. Colin is so patient as a presenter. Now, discussion did get bogged down a bit on “Photoshop/Photo file–Meta Data”, there was a lot of interest in this subject, but as Colin answered a few of the immediate questions, he then pointed to his Lightroom 4 DVD that pretty much covers all the basics, and then got back on track. Colin then move onto more “juicier” topics, like “What is “High Dynamic Range – HDR Photography?. Lots of folks, really didn’t know, so Colin did a short explanation on how today’s cameras are limited in the amount of “details” that can be picked up in a photo, less than what the human eye would normally see. He also went over some of the new features in Photoshop CS6 which allows for the combining of “bracketed” exposures of a subject into one singular image with higher dynamic range (Colin was flipping back and forth between Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6 to make his point). Very cool part of the presentation and seemed to hold the interest of some of the newbies.
All in All, there was definitely audience interest in having more topics on Lightroom at the SeattlePUG. The audience was appreciative of having a high quality speaker come to present at their group. The Adobe Community Team often tries to bring Adobe Community Professionals to the User Groups (when feasible) to:
Seattle will be hosting another ACP – Stephen Burns of Chromeallusion.com on March 19th at the Adobe Offices. This will again be another GREAT! user group meeting, brought to you by the Adobe Community Team.
Lastly, while I was at the meeting I got to meet the Adobe sponsor for the Seattle Photoshop User Group, John Cornicello and thanked him for volunteering and helping out this user group. One of the hardest things for a User Group going is finding a venue in which to meet at consistently.
Time Lapse Coverage 0f SeaPUG meeting
While at the meeting, I set up my camera to take a series of time-lapse photos which resulted in a short 30 sec movie. It’s not meant to provide detail just a high level overview of what happened at the user group meeting.
Or Play Movie (Click
16 Jan 2013 – Dinner with Seattle Area Adobe User Group Managers
While in Seattle, I took the opportunity to gather up the local area Adobe User Group managers in order to talk to them about the upcoming #CreateNOW tour being sponsored by Adobe. The CreateNOW tour was fast approaching and we needed to speed up the logistics and planning for the event. More importantly, we needed to decide on a venue for the next big event. It is not often the Adobe Community Team gets around to the user groups; and, we are trying to do more of this when it is practical and makes business sense. The Seattle Adobe User Group will be holding their #CreateNOW tour on March 9th; I am looking forward to attending that event to see what they can do.